Twitter and talking at once

The other night I caught up with some folks who (except for @dbendall) also happen to use Twitter (@fibendall, @iggypintado, @kerrypintado) at a local pub for some grub, a drink, lively conversation & exchange of ideas.

Now this is a smart and entertaining bunch of people. But some of the characteristics of our real life interaction helped me to perceive why Twitter might work so well for some folks.

The hashtag for the evening turned out to be #ihavethetalkingfork. This is because the ideas and discussion around the table were flowing so fast that we were falling over each other to get our words out. In a vain attempt to impose some order, and notion of taking turns, at one stage the convention of the ‘talking fork’ was adopted, only to fail a few minutes later as there were a number of forks on the table.

This phenomenon of simultaneous outbound and inbound communication is something that Twitter enables quite well. You can get your idea out at the same time as I can. Then we can each respond to the other’s idea. This means that, unlike in real life, on Twitter we can almost multiplex our communications.

Some people might just see this problem as one of rudeness. But it is what happens when you put a bunch of people with ideas who, while talking to each other, generate new ideas and made new connections. I learned a lot from being part of the conversation at that table. Some of the things @iggypintado has planned sound amazing.

2 thoughts on “Twitter and talking at once

  1. mrsnickhodge

    Kate, This is what I like so much about Twitter – when, in all the madness of a face to face conversation, a great thought or idea can be lost – only to be remembered well after the event and then usually forgotten again – Twittering allows those of us who have trouble with our mouths keeping up with our brains, (we know who we are LOL) a way to complete or at least follow a line of thought.

    I also love that even if we are not in the frame of mind to do the ‘face to face’ social thing, that we can still exchange thoughts that occur to us at a particular time from the comfort of our own space.

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  2. Hi Lovely Kate

    A wonderful stream of ideas from Friday. The #talkingfork came from many days of old when I use go on walking & climbing holidays with friends in our late teens / early 20’s. Before twitter and social media. It was old fashioned social! We would go off and hire a cottage in Wales or the like, be healthy during the day and stay up late during the night all talking at once!

    We were exchanging ideas and dreams and thoughts at such a rate we invented in those days the “talkinglighter” before hashtags!!! In days when having a smoke wasn’t so frowned upon! There then, too were many lighters, so the idea was flawed too as we all kept talking, like the forks on the table the other night!

    The energy was great, like the other evening. Twitter does enable an exchange of ideas that is like those old days of everyone talking around the fire with the guitar playing and so on.

    Twitter is also how I met you and some other wonderful people and so whilst sometimes overwhelmingly noisy, it can also present some great ideas, real-time brainstorming and a great way to meet different people from the virtual to the physical.

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